Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Latterman reunions reviews - three shows

This past weekend, I saw Latterman play three times. I'm usually not big on reunions, at all, but these dudes are legit and as much as I know them, are pretty much the same if not more punk than they were five years ago. I used to see them all the time and they and some of their future bands played my house several times when I used to do shows. These shows were ten dollars, with $1000 going to Queer Rock Camp in Olympia, so everything is good there as well.

Thursday, December 1st was at Maxwell's, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Maxwell's is a great venue for shows of the non-basement variety. It's really small, has been around forever and pretty much every band (including Nirvana and Fugazi) has played there. The sound is generally really good. No one who works there has ever hassled me, so I guess they are cool, ha. Anyway, some bands played before Latterman but I only saw a few songs of the one before them and that doesn't matter at all anyway. Latterman went on with really no fanfare around 10:30 and opened with "My Bedroom is Like for Artists Part 2," "Doom! Doom! Doom!" and "This Project Is Stagnant (Get It out of My Face)", as you can see above. They sounded as good as they ever did back in the day. Then they played a few songs from We Are Still Alive, I think five, which answered my questions about who would be playing the guitar that wasn't Phil's - Mike and Brian. Mike played most of the set, and Brian came out (after being paged for a minute) for four of the five We Are Still Alive songs. I think the songs they played from that record, not in order, were "Water Manes at the Block's End," "'I Decided Not to Do Them'," "If Batman Was Real, He Would Have Beaten the Crap out of My Friends," "This Basement Gives Me a Fucking Headache" and "We Work the Night Shift." Then Brian went away and that was the end of him. Following that, they played most of No Matter where We Go, as well as a "new" song, "Our Better Halves," which is the last song they recorded, but never got released until now on a one-song seven inch they were selling at the shows. As for No Matter where We Go, they played every song with words, with the exception of "We're Done For," which is a little perplexing, given the subject matter of the song - the social indoctrination of men into a sexist way of thinking, behaving and living - and that making men aware of this shit was always, at least to me, a big part of what Latterman was about. Oh, and there was only one song from Turn up the Punk, We'll Be Singing - "There's Never a Reason Not to Party." Bummer on that, but they weren't that comfortable playing songs/singing words that they wrote over ten years ago, which I guess I understand, but I promise there's nothing outwardly embarrassing on there! So yeah, they did their set, and included the "encore" song in the set instead of coming out and doing it, which is nice. Encores are pretty lame, unless you are legit about to fall over and need a minute.

The next night was at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Had to watch Yo Man Go, but we survived. I guess you could say we were still alive. Anyhow, Latterman played and that was all that mattered. They played the same set. Brian was again nowhere to be found initially. Jeff from Bridge and Tunnel came out and laid down some brutal vocals on "There's Never a Reason Not to Party," as he also did on Sunday, and I would assume Saturday, as he said he would also be at that show. Phil's head (a Peavey 5150 - I remember he used to play this Fender Rock Pro head, at least he's got all tubes now) broke and they switched it out for some Mesa. They were really good again. They had some problems with people stage diving and crowdsurfing. Matt and Phil were calling them out for it, with them being the staunchly anti-stage diving people they are. It was cool. No one was hostile toward the band for it, as least as far as I could tell. It stopped pretty quickly, until the last song, because really, what can they do at that point, stop playing? Probably not. People were definitely more wild than the night before, but no one was really out of hand, especially considering that it was a punk show with a few hundred people and I've seen some people do really, really stupid shit in similar circumstances. So yeah, overall, good time. They definitely played with more energy than the night before, which I suppose is to be expected. These were consecutively the largest shows they had every played, I believe. Oh right. There was some piece of shit with a Hot Topic embroidered patch vest of every band he listens to, as well as one reading "If it has wheels or tits, it's going to give me problems." After Yo Man Go was done, I'm pretty sure I watched a woman who had been standing behind him tell him off for it, at which point he sheepishly looked around and walked out. I didn't see him again.

Skipped Saturday's show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Sunday night was at the Bell House in Brooklyn. It was "sold out" but they definitely don't have a policy of packing the place, which I REALLY enjoy cause you can still move around quite freely at pretty much all times and no one has to be up your ass. So, Latterman played again...and it was the same set, but it was with the most energy I saw out of the three shows. If you closed your eyes and pretended you were in a basement, it was as though nothing had changed. Matt and Phil were still in great voice, Pat was playing hard as fuck, and the music was really tight. No one stagedove and maybe a handful of people crowdsurfed, but not to the extent that anything was said about it. This was the best night out of the three, as far as their performance. Really high energy and fucking spot on. They closed again with "My Bedroom Is Like for Artists," as you can see below. There are other videos of these shows, but I didn't take them, haha. They thanked everyone and each other and hugged and whatnot and that was that. They didn't practice any other songs, so they had nothing else to play, though I guess they could have played a song again, but that would be weird.

Final thoughts - it was good to see them all on stage again, pounding it out. They made the songs from We Are Still Alive sound a lot better to me, as I am not a huge fan of that record. I think the production is strangely stale and sterile sounding, the songs are not that upbeat and the lyrics are kind of bummed. It's just a different Latterman, and it doesn't really sound like Latterman live. There are definitely some great songs on there though, and I will be revisiting it for sure. The first two records sound like the band sounded when they played, and the songs from We Are Still Alive fit in much better live than they do on record. It would have been nice to see them play "The Biggest Sausage Party Ever" or "We're Done For," keeping with the band's decidedly pro-feminist stance. Whatever the case, they played really well and I was happy with the song selection, overall. Would have been nice to see them play some different songs from night to night. Where was Pat's Baltimore Orioles shirt? I definitely didn't feel like they were going through the motions. They all seemed genuinely into it and appreciative of people being there and being able to play again. It was also kind of reassuring and uplifting to see a bunch of people who had been friends for so long and who I know had some really serious issues for a while back together and putting things behind them. It makes me feel a little bit of hope in a world that rarely gives me hope for anything.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I can't believe the things we say - re: Michele Bachmann

In a Republican debate last night, Michele Bachmann uttered the following:
"The table is being set for worldwide nuclear war against Israel."
Somewhere, someone believed her.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Breaking news: Americans are stupid assholes, re: Herman Cain

The world now knows that Herman Cain is a habitual "sexual harasser," which really just means that he has no respect for women and thinks they should do whatever he wants and have no rights. The evidence is there, replete with multiple five-figure payouts to the unfortunate objects of his, um, affections.

Anyway, as so often comes with election season, Americans have once again demonstrated their breathtaking stupidity and militant ignorance/indignation. In this instance, donors have rewarded the man handsomely for his attacks:
The campaign said Thursday afternoon that it raised some $9 million since Oct. 1, 25% of which came in over the past 10 days — when the accusations of sexual harassment were first reported. That indicates Mr. Cain collected some $2.25 million over the 10 days – putting his fund-raising at the same rate as in October.
Thanks idiots.

All in all, I guess he's really getting that money because he deserves it for being such a great guy and so caring:
This week, Mr. Cain quipped on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live that his fund-raising has improved since he began facing accusations of improper behavior. When host Jimmy Kimmel asked if other candidates should hire people to charge them with sexual harassment, Mr. Cain, said, “If they’re smart they will.”

Review - Nirvana's Nevermind Super Deluxe

I've been meaning to write this for a while but other things have been taking precedence. They still should, but I'm just gonna bust this out real quick so I can stop thinking about it.

So, Nirvana has been my favorite (favorite) band for twenty years at this point. I have everything (not the obsessive Kurt idolatry stuff or total bullshit releases like the self-titled best of or Icon). I own most of their records on vinyl, all original. No "Love Buzz" 7", of course, but you know how that goes. Nevermind is their, or anyone else's, greatest release. Of course, I was psyched out of my mind to hear that Geffen (Universal these days) was doing a four-disc reissue of the record. Well...

God, what a letdown this was. I was anticipating this release for months, looking for news online every day, every damn day, and then I saw the tracklisting - the original record, b-sides that every already has, the Smart Studios tape that EVERYONE already has (and isn't that good) and a live CD that everyone already has. People were hoping it was preliminary. It wasn't. Then I, along with anyone with ears, got REAL bummed when I heard it and realized it was "brickwalled" in the mastering stage, meaning, compressed to hell so everything is the same volume (loud) and it hurts your ears, getting rid of many aural details in the process. Bottom line - the whole thing sounds like shit and gives you a headache, the first two discs in particular.

No doubt, the boombox rehearsal tape and the "Devonshire Mixes" were tantalizing from a distance. The Devonshire Mixes are Butch Vig's early mixes of all the songs, sans "Polly," which was recorded at Smart Studios in 1990, during the session featured on Disc Two. I was really hoping for them to deliver, as Butch's mix of "Breed" on With the Lights Out is KILLER. However, they are kind of all over the place, which I suppose one should expect for rough mixes - some drums are too loud ("Lithium"), some too buried in the mix ("Breed," "Territorial Pissings"), etc. I wanted to love them, but overall I don't. I do prefer the vocals on there, as they actually sound like vocals and not wrapped in plastic, and the bass sounds like a bass. People who are seriously into engineering seem to have problems with the different sounds of the drums. It's nothing I notice though. Also, if you wanna see hardcore Nirvana fans get REALLY pissed off, Google "Sound City Sappy." A final note on this, the outro on Butch's version of "On a Plain" is so weird, in a way that makes me uncomfortable.

In the end, the Boombox tape is definitely the gem here. Much better quality than I was expecting and it has never been circulated in any form anywhere. Really interesting stuff to see the band developing these monster songs in a time that would, in retrospect, be the calm before the storm. It's that much-fabled "last innocence" period.

Now to get at what you receive in exchange for your money - four CDs, a DVD and a hardcover book for $109-$130+, depending where you got (get) it. With the Lights Out is currently around $40 and you get three CDs, a DVD and a softcover book. Both have substantial packaging. With the Lights Out had WAY more unreleased stuff on it, like most of it. All of Disc One and part of Disc Two on the other hand, have been released commercially. Disc Four replicates the DVD, which again, has been available as a high-quality audio bootleg since time immemorial. Plus, all the live b-sides are from this show, so those songs appear three times on the set - what? Anyway, you can buy the Deluxe for $20 and the DVD for $16 or so. What do you miss out on? Not much. Not much.

So what happened? I bought the Super Deluxe and returned it without opening it. I stuck with the regular Deluxe and the DVD. I've probably listened to the Deluxe twice. I will never listen to the first disc again. What a profound disappointment. There are so many alternate takes/mixes/etc. they could have included. Even fucking studio banter. But they didn't. Just mostly a bunch of shit everyone already has, or if they don't, can get in much better quality, particularly the original record (although I have read that stores criminally pulled the original disc from the shelves and replaced it with a single-disc brickwalled shit sound remaster) and the b-sides (all of the singles are readily available online for a pittance - the original packaging and the sound are so much more worthwhile).

I also purchased and returned, unopened, the four-LP vinyl version of the regular deluxe after reading multiple times about how it, too, is brickwalled and sounds utterly horrific. What a shame.

Ah, almost forgot - many people report sync issues with the Blu-ray version of the live show, to the extent that Amazon has instructions up to help customers deal with it. I wouldn't know, as I don't have a Blu-ray player, but given the care Universal didn't put into the rest of it, I don't doubt it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fuck Joe Paterno, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and Graham Spanier

and every other piece of shit at Penn State who was involved with covering up Jerry Sandusky's devotion to sexually assaulting the kids who took part in his personal charity for disadvantaged kids. Send them off to a rape camp where they can get what they've earned.

Fuck them for sweeping this under the metaphorical rug so that their football program could soldier on untarnished. Fuck them for knowing that kids' lives were being ruined, kids who already had it bad, and not doing anything about it. He was raping 10 and 11 year olds. People knew this. They all fucking knew this and ignored it in the name of selfish glory. There's no afterlife, just life until they die. May it be a long series of miserable, agonizing days for all involved.

Addendum: fuck anyone who tries to say that it's not fair to "Joe Pa" for "all he's done for Penn State." IT WOULD NOT MATTER IF HE PAID TO HAVE THE SCHOOL DIPPED IN GOLD AND GAVE EVERY STUDENT A MILLION DOLLARS. He ignored what was going on for his own glory and that of the school. It was all that mattered to him, his staff, and evidently the school's administration.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Late Halloween treat - lost in a corn maze

I've been meaning to post this for weeks, but keep forgetting. It's fine though, cause with the big storm and all the aftermath, many Halloween activities have been postponed until the weekend anyway.

Fuck. They were "found" twenty-five feet from the exit.

"My baby!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

American concepts of "resistance" - Occupy Wall Street is pretend, a non-movement

I guess I don't really get the whole Occupy Wall Street thing. Nothing new has happened, nothing has changed. Still the same greedy pigs and their sycophants running it, still the same goals. America is still capitalist, just as it has been and will continue to be.

Anyway. I was reading about it today, and I saw this great statement someone gave about what Occupy Wall Street means as a "movement":
"The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%," the statement continues, referring to what it sees as a sharp divide between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of society.
Ha. American activists love talking about how they won't tolerate things any longer, or how this is the last time that something is going to happen, so on and so forth. Basically, that now that they have been awakened, suddenly whatever evil it is that they perceive will end because they will it so.

Now, of course, I have no problem, at least philosophically, with the idea of activism. I think a great deal of things are fucked and basically need to be burned to the ground, but that's another story. So yeah, I'm all for people trying to make positive changes and take back their lives and the land and whatnot, but it is so unrealistic to tell yourself or anyone else that there will be no more of anything. What these people really mean to say is that they wish for there to be no more of anything. But that doesn't change a damn thing except within you. People have to take real steps, collectively, to enact change, real, fundamental change. American activism, this kind of stuff, tends to be a lie. The lie is that you are doing something. Comparatively, yes, you are doing something if you hold it up to absolutely nothing, but on the grand spectrum, sitting on a sidewalk or holding a sign doesn't do shit. No one pays attention to you. They just walk around you. You choreograph everything with the police, nice and politely. And that's fine in and of itself, if that's what you like. The real problem is that you are telling yourself that you are in some kind of struggle, some "movement."

Look at other very recent examples - did the people of Egypt just say, "Hey Mubarak, time to go, we won't tolerate you any longer?" No, they went out in the streets and struggled. Fought and died. How about Syria, right now? People are dying in the streets every day because they are at the ends of their ropes. I would venture a guess that most of the people who participate in Occupy Wall Street and similar types of demonstrations cannot comprehend such a feeling. Not that I mean to valorize or romanticize the suffering of Syrians or Egyptians or anyone else, just that white middle class demonstrators in this country try to act like they know this brutal suffering. It's like the line in that Propagandhi song about "play acting anarchists." It is. It's a performance, and probably one that's pretty offensive to people who suffer on a fundamental level, people whose lives are profoundly based on struggle.

Just declaring something as over is delusional and terribly self-defeating. Cause you know what? You will stand by, you will compromise, you will tolerate these things. We all do every day. That's what this life is, at least here, now. Unless you go berserk and go shoot up the precinct or something like that, or say "fuck it" and take off for the woods like Thoreau or Ted Kaczynski (who also went the berserk route, but less intensely), you are tolerating these things. I mean, really, how are you not? You can oppose these things, but the economy, our political system and the very fibers of this social system are built on greed and corruption. They won't be going away anytime soon.

People are fucking greedy. History seems to bear that one out pretty well. Whether it's land, cows, power, money, etc, people are greedy. Sure, you can say only some people are greedy, or it's not innate, it's socialization, whatever. But then it's kind of the back side of the idea that no one is free as long as others are oppressed. How can people as a whole not be greedy when some of us are?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hum on 120 Minutes

I remember videotaping this when it was on when I was in high school, fifteen years old. It was during the summer, so my mom didn't yell at me to go to bed (it didn't come on until midnight). I went to the first Warped Tour three weeks later. They did "Stars" and "I'd Like Your Hair Long." I thought this was the coolest thing when I saw it, and I still do. I was so struck by everything about this band. First, fucking look at them. The bass player is going bald, the singer looks like he works at a gas station, the other guitar player is playing a fucking spraypainted guitar and the drummer is like just some dude. These guys, like you know how punk or hardcore or alternative bands or whatever often talk about themselves as "losers" or "rejects" or whatever? Well, most of the time they aren't. They are just saying that for cred. I am actually a loser and a reject. These dudes, they look like if we were in high school together, they wouldn't have been part of the cool "alternative" kids and we probably would have hung out. I mean they are seriously dorky, and I relate.

Also, listen to how LOUD it is! You can tell this because of the way the limiting kicks in as soon as they ring out on that distorted chord. The clean intro is pretty loud, but then the broadcast volume actually decreases once they get into it. Full stacks will do that, I guess. I saw them once. They were really loud. And really good. Glad I did that.

The guitar player's fingers just fly over that fretboard seemingly with no effort. It's like they're possessed.

And the drummer, wow. Look at all those cymbals. Five crashes/rides and a china. Holy shit. He uses them all, too. Rumor has it he is/was a Rush fan, so it makes sense. Dude plays so hard, and so well. Love it.

These are fucking great songs.

I'm very glad to have lived through a time of plentiful meaningful music.

Friday, September 23, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court - Go ahead and kill that nigger

Yeah, so if you didn't know, the Supreme Court, after deliberating for four hours or so, told Georgia to kill Troy Davis. And they did, Wednesday night. They didn't waste much time after getting the order, of course.

The pig's family is psyched. Sick fucks.

Other pigs, on the other hand, specifically the one hundred or so of them in riot gear lined up outside the prison, are bummed, because they didn't get to beat the fuck out of Troy's supporters or even gas anyone.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis' death schedule

From CNN:

3 p.m.: Will undergo a physical.
4 p.m.: Last meal offered.
5 p.m.: Opportunity to record final statement.
6 p.m.: An optional sedative will be offered.

Cold. Mechanical. Robotic. Falsely detached. Inhuman. Chilling.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Georgia pardons board - "We're gonna kills us a nigger."

Family of dead Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail - "Thank you for killing some nigger for us so we can feel better."

This is a sick world.

They're so bent on killing Troy Davis. They'd rather execute this guy than admit that they were wrong. Save face, dispense with a black man. It's an easy choice for those in power. Doesn't matter if a former FBI director, among many others, says, "Hey, you have the wrong man here. This guy didn't do it." THEY ARE GOING TO FUCKING KILL THIS GUY. Someone who didn't commit this crime will die tomorrow and short of armed conflict, likely nothing will stop it. Surely reason will not, and you KNOW compassion won't.

It's not like I'm surprised. I mean, come on, this is a black man, a dead cop and the death penalty we're discussing. Of COURSE he's gonna lose. Fuck this place.

I cannot imagine the anguish and powerlessness this would engender in one's self. It's like, there you are, the outside world is only a wall away, there a lot of people out there who want to help you and believe in you, and a few people are deciding to kill you. You have no say. You just have to die. You don't even get to fight. You just have to submit and take the needle. It's preordained. You know when you will die, where and how. A regimented, clinical death. It's so fucked and against all that is natural.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One of the fifty million things wrong with hardcore

This really has nothing to do with the band Defeater or even the record label, Bridge 9. I do not know any of them, I know little about any of them, and I have never seen the band play. I have no interest in putting them down or any kind of such childish crap. This is a critique of ideas.

It's difficult to think of people in this country less deserving of aid than troops - cops, rich people, vivisectors, clergy, politicians...But here we have a month-long benefit for people in the military, with the help of Bridge 9 Records and the band Defeater, in honor of 9/11:

Boston, MA’s Defeater are no strangers to the themes of war with their conceptual albums Travels, Lost Ground and Empty Days and Sleepless Nights. All three albums tell the story of a family set in post-WW2 America and their trials and tribulations – from an alcoholic veteran father, his wife and their two sons. Consequently, Defeater has been well known for their support of US troops fighting for our country. With the ten-year anniversary of the September 11th tragedy just on the horizon, Defeater, along with Bridge Nine Records and All In Merch, will be donating proceeds from their merchandise sales to the soldiers returning home suffering from post traumatic stress disorder via the Wounded Warrior Project.
Starting today, $1.00 from every shirt sold on their webstores through September 30th will be donated to these soldiers that require assistance upon their return home. Additionally, Bridge Nine’s webstore will be carrying an exclusive t-shirt that will be sold for one time only this September, and 100% of the proceeds will also go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Defeater had this to say: 
“As the 10 year anniversary of September 11 approaches, we want to recognize the soldiers who have been fighting in the wars that resulted from the tragedy. Between now and September 30, defeater, Bridge Nine and All-In Merch will donate a portion of our merch sales, including every exclusive shirt, to the Wounded Warrior Project -- an organization that helps war veterans recover from the physical, emotional and psychological scars left by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This organization allows these heroes to successfully return to the life they left behind to fight for our nation's freedom.
Whatever our political beliefs, each individual deserves to return home to a support structure that helps them heal from conflict. Every person we know and love that is willing to put their life on the line for the people they care about deserves our attention and what little we can give back in return. Thank you for your purchase, and to all of our deployed friends and family.”

Wow, no. So, so many things wrong with that. Why, oh why, should anyone aside from oil companies and weapons manufacturers be giving money to individual soldiers? Here are people who volunteered to join the military. That's what we're talking about. No one was drafted. A standard stint of enlistment is four years. Anyone who has joined the military in the last ten years had a pretty good idea what was going on - you're probably going to war. Pointless imperialist wars. Pointless. No glory. No defense of the country. Long-term occupation style wars. Invasions.

So there you were, kicking in people's doors, terrorizing kids, shooting camels for kicks. Harassing people on the street. Asking for ID. Making fun of them and their customs. Waving guns at them. Humiliating them. Screaming "orders" at them in a language they don't understand. You are their new gods. And now here you are, back in the country. And you deserve money? No. You don't deserve ANYTHING. What did Charles Manson's followers get? Jail.

"[E]ach individual deserves to return home to a support structure that helps them heal from conflict" - umm, what about the people who already were home (Afghanistan, Iraq) and never will be healed because now they are living in seemingly endless civil war, because they had their lives picked up and dumped on the ground? What about the people of Iraq who were living in a sovereign country that was no real threat to anyone, especially the United States, and now have had their infrastructure ruined, their past looted, and their future damn near stopped? And the people who did that deserve to "heal"? "Heal"? From the violence that THEY'VE done? From the misery that THEY brought? This is so deeply offensive to the annihilation that they have visited onto millions of people who had nothing to do with anything. This is a perversion of responsibility.

"[W]illing to put their life on the line"? For what? For whom? No one wants you there except people in business and government. You fools. Tools.

But they were just following orders, right? Ha. Classic defense. I'm sure people would respect that were this country invaded, by people just following orders.

I know I've said this before, but what's up with people not getting the idea that the troops ARE the war? They fight. They shoot. They invade. Rumsfeld ain't gonna crawl through the desert. You think Obama will? How about anyone on the board of General Electric? No. Put down your guns and the war is over. That's it. End of story. Troops made the invasion and keep it alive every day. They choose to do this.

Also, can I mention one more time that there is no relation whatsoever between 9/11 and Iraq? No one even claims that there is anymore. No one.

Even if you respect the concept of America having to invade Afghanistan and "go get em," which they really didn't, seeing as Bin Laden was alive until not so long ago, why are they still there, ten years later? What's going on?

All this shit is just nationalism. Blind patriotism. Giving money and "support" to people who've all engaged in horrible individual acts and one huge collective horrible act. Seriously, you look around, and when you think "Who could use some benefit money?", the answer you derive is the military? Fuck.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Scary stuff - re: chemical contamination of food

I've been eating organic food on purpose for a long time. Didn't realize that conventional produce was also sprayed with defoliants.

People nitpick on things like this and try to tell you that if these chemicals weren't safe, farmers wouldn't use them or be allowed to use them. People tend to use extreme scales to decide if something is safe, such as if you get cancer or not. It's not like something makes you deathly ill or does no harm to you. Also, hardly anything gives you cancer right away...So shortsighted, willfully blind. Who would spray things like this on their meals after preparing them? Virtually no one. But as long as they don't see it, it's fine. Like it's any different.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kim Thayil on being a band

"I always imagined we were the band that made the party end. Like, ok guys it’s time to leave now, someone just put on Superunknown!"

Fucking brilliant.

Hunger Strike now

This shit SUCKS. Fuck everyone who had any involvement with desecrating the song as such. These dudes are so cheesy and lame. Someone tell Chris to grow his fucking hair out again. Chester Bennington, ouch ouch ouch ouch. That's it.

Oh wait, there is also this, which is kind of worse, but not as bad at the same time cause no one from Linkin Park is involved:

Seriously, the guy doing Eddie, no.


Hunger Strike then

It rules. Everything about it. What they're all wearing, Eddie's leather vest or whatever over a flannel shirt, it fucking rules. The long hair, everything is sick. I'm gonna grow my hair out and dress like 1990. Chris' high notes. It all rules. This is pretty much as good as it gets.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pigs - how far they've come

Not very. At all. Fuck. It's from last month, but I've been busy.

It's truly disturbing to watch people choose to end someone's life. It's so arbitrary and final. Judge, jury and executioner all in one spot. In this case, it is particularly troubling, as those making the decision tend to be beyond the law. A bunch of them keep shooting after their clips are empty.

Here's the story as CNN tells it. I'll provide some highlights:

He said after the disturbance started he pulled over his truck and started recording with his cell phone camera, capturing the shooting.
"When he noticed me recording, one of the officers jumped in the truck, put a pistol to my head," he said. "My phone was smashed - he stepped on it, handcuffed me."
Juan Sanchez, a detective with the Miami Beach Police Department, said he could not comment on how officers that night handled eyewitnesses who may have filmed the incident, because the matter could become the subject of an internal investigation or a civil lawsuit....

Benoit's girlfriend, Ericka Davis, was also in the truck at the time.
"They handled us like we were criminals," she said. "The officer came over to the driver's side, on my left, and just put the gun to my head."
"They took everyone's phones and smashed them," she said.
Benoit says the only reason he still has the footage is because it was saved on a tiny memory card, which he removed and hid from the officers, despite being told to hand over his video.
"I took the chip out and put it in my mouth," he said, and kept it there the whole time he was interviewed by police at a nearby mobile command post.
His video shows an officer on a bike approaching his truck and pointing a gun directly into the camera, giving an indecipherable command, and then backing away.
Another officer orders them to stop filming and get out of the truck, and then the video ends....

Herisse was killed, and four bystanders were injured by gunfire, according to [Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos] Noriega.
Benoit and Davis criticized the police for the number of shots they fired, in the presence of numerous bystanders.
"We could have been killed," said Davis. "They were shooting so long, you could hear their guns clicking on empty, but they kept pulling the trigger," she said. "I think that's excessive."
Noriega said it was unclear whether the suspect shot at the officers, but police later recovered a gun from his car.

Here's the video from CNN that shows an overhead view of the pigs killing that man:

They can do whatever they want. What would happen to a civilian who rode up to someone's car and started waving a gun at people? What if that person was caught on video doing so?

We live under martial law. Some of us get by a lot better than others, cause of the color of our skin and where we live. But we all live it.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Fucking idiots. Glad there are people out there looking out for me and my interests. We would all be in Saddam Gorbachev's iron fist were it not for these wonderful patriots, just in time for Memorial Day:

MANALAPAN — More than 20 people, some carrying American flags, showed up at the Turkish American Community Center Tuesday to protest that an American flag had been hung upside down in front of the site.
The flag hung upturned next to flags of Northern Cyprus and Turkey, a largely Muslim nation – an insult to America, protesters said. Center President Mehmet Reyhan said he did not know who had incorrectly hung the flag; he only learned of it when a member notified him of protesters outside the Route 33 building this morning.
“Livid – I was livid that (someone) desecrated our flag and hung it upside down,” said Betty Bailey, a Millstone farm owner who helped organize the protest.

“You need people out there to watch these things going on, because we can’t just stand by and let our country be put down…I just think people are getting lax about (patriotism and vigilance),” Bailey said. “We’re standing up for our country.”

The reason the flag had been hung upside down – and by whom – remains unclear: Some questioned whether recent headlines about the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden triggered it, or whether it had simply been an incident of vandalism or an accident.

Protesters said they believed the flag had been hung outside the site since Sunday night or Monday morning. They said the flag also had been tattered and incorrectly displayed in relation to the other two flags.

Reyhan said he didn’t believe a center member would have turned the flag upside-down. Two current members have to vouch for new members in order for them to join, he said, “and I don’t think any of our members would do anything like that.”

“I think every nation is very proud of their flag; if someone puts it upside-down, I look at it as an insult to the nation,” Reyhan said. “We are Americans. We love this country. We are here for 25 years and those flags are always flying in the correct way. This is the first time I have seen something like this.”

According to federal statute, the American flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of distress. The flag has beenflown upside down as a form of protest in the United States, according to published reports.

Reyhan said he reported the incident to township police and the Turkish consulate. He said he had all the flags taken down Tuesday morning because he’s afraid they could be rearranged again and cause problems for the center.
Bailey said she still had concerns.

“It was in front of their building and I really think if it’s your building, you should really kind of notice that the flag was hanging wrong,” Bailey said. “People have to start taking a stand, so we did. Hopefully, it won’t happen again.”

Reyhan said the center, in the township for 25 years, serves as a celebration hall for Turkish, American and Muslim religious holidays. He said the center also hosts Turkish language classes for youths and provides networking, employment assistance, transportation and translation services for Turkish immigrants.

The center has about 350 members from as far as New York and Pennsylvania, but with many in Monmouth County from Manalapan, Englishtown and the surrounding area, Reyhan said. None reported noticing the flag, he said.

As for bin Laden, Reyhan said Turkey, too, has been living with the horrors of terrorist groups, “So we don’t want any terrorists in this world. We want nothing to do with them.”

I like how people just started "protesting" instead of making any attempt to contact someone in the building. There was no attempt at discussion. Just some patriotic circle jerk, stimulating one another's hatred for Muslims. I also like how this passes for "vigilance." The Turkish are known for nothing if not their deep anti-American views and radical Islamic philosophy. Someone has to keep tabs on them.

I'm going with the bin Laden suspicion. Everyone knows that Muslims are plotting a secret overthrow of the government, in the interest of establishing a Western Caliphate. This should definitely be viewed as nothing else than the second phase of what began on 9/11. Now that this flag has been flown upside down, there is no turning back. We will all be worshipping Allah in a matter of months, no doubt. Christmas is canceled.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sickening - care packages for Troops

Oh, how I loathe the cult of the American military.

Don't worry, there's "no political message, whatsoever." I guess "we love you, keep fighting, whatever you are doing is fine, we worship you, what you are doing is worthwhile and full of purpose" is not political.

Again, the troops ARE the war. They don't plan it, but they carry it out. They're the tools in the box. The people high above them are just the architects. You know that Obama wouldn't go shooting it out in Afghanistan. If it were really his war, it would be over immediately. So, yeah, fuck the troops. They do all the dirty work. Taking orders is not an excuse. Let us remember, no one is being drafted. If you don't realize that invading and occupying someone's country is wrong, then you should realize that kicking in their doors, blowing up their houses, creating a life of war for them and terrorizing their families is. And if you don't, fuck you. You've surrendered your right to live. I don't care what happens to you. You're being shot at because you are an invader. What would you do if Iran invaded the U.S.?

The American heroes in Iraq or Afghanistan are the ones who refuse to fight or turn their weapons on their commanders. Or someone like Bradley Manning. Taking it down from the inside. Resisters. They get put in jail and are remembered as traitors or enemy sympathizers. What else could they be when everything is so black and white? There is only right and wrong, with us or against us. What about "we don't want any part"? That is not an option.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Looking at Barry Goldwater forty-five years later

Not a great guy. For example, he was brutally opposed to the Civil Rights Act.

Still, I would prefer this type of conservative greatly to those we have today.

At the time of the 1964 presidential campaign, people on the left, the entire range of the progressive/liberal/radical spectrum, viewed his potential election to office as some permutation of the second coming of Hitler. He was universally reviled, from people like Roy Wilkins, a man no one could ever argue was extreme, through the fledgling antiwar movement to radicals of all stripes, including Malcolm X, communists, socialists, anarchists and so on. Of course, this also includes Democrats.

What do we have now? A bunch of people who make him look like Bill Clinton - Bush. Bush II. Rumsfeld. Palin. Rand Paul and the entirety of the "Tea Party." These people fucking hate everything and everyone. At least Goldwater was readable. You know where he stood. This type of conservatism has largely died. I think people such as him are regarded as libertarians now, and substantially marginalized, fodder for late night talk show jokes. Conservatives vying for power now fashion themselves after Ronald Reagan, a man who was demonstrably and profoundly worse than Goldwater ever was. Goldwater reviled what conservatism had come to mean by the late 70s and early 80s. For the record, while not a supporter of gay rights, he also didn't oppose them - he thought it had nothing to do with the government. He hated the religious zealots who have become such a dominant force in our lives now.

It's no wonder that activism has died and drug use is high. What else could the people who fought against Goldwater in the 60s feel once they saw Reagan come into power and usher in a deep cultural conservatism that has been with us ever since? Talk about defeat.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One of the more offensive headlines I've read in quite some time

Not because of the subject matter, but because of what it proposes:

Maid's lawyer: IMF sex assault case no setup

The fact that this woman has to deny that she is collaborating with others to destroy this man is fucking appalling. Why does she have to deny this?

Because everyone knows that men don't really ever rape women and that for sure, powerful men don't do it. They don't have to, cause they already have what they want - money, material things, hot wives, whatever. Let's just forget that men like that develop an insatiable sense of entitlement and can never feel like they are adequately in control. It's always more, more, more, just like the drug addict.

Stupid women lying to destroy men.

Poor, poor men. Always the victims. It's hard being man.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stupid bands (Jesuit) have stupid cover art (their discography)

Wow, so edgy. Women are evil and it's cool when they're dead. So original too. Let's go stab skinny bitches with big tits in the heart with knives and strip them except for high heels and some kind of lacy thing and wrap them in barbed wire and wait until they rot. It will be cool.

Here's their self-important description from Deathwish Magic Bullet:

JESUIT were an unrelenting, noisy hardcore band from Virginia Beach, VA. They existed from the mid-90′s up until the changing of the century. In their wake, they left a rather nice-sized dent in the intensely-PC witch-hunt/”safe space” era of DIY hardcore. Whereas events attributed to Charles Manson are often credited with bringing a savage and brutal end to the peace, love, and drug culture of the 60′s, events surrounding bands like JESUIT and GEHENNA not only elicited controversy at every tour stop, but pushed a movement toward hardcore finding its more violent, unpredictable, and entirely irreverent roots as the “Portlandia” cult of 90′s hardcore crashed to a halt.
Taking the old "controversy" route in an attempt to substitute for lack of substance. Style over substance, except I don't think Jesuit had that either. Zzzzzz....I like the part where they swipe at safe spaces (it's easy for men to not have to ever consider such a concept - what are those bitches crying about?) and refer to people trying to make their scene a better place, eradicating hateful manly shit as a "PC witch-hunt." Did Rush Limbaugh write this? Thanks to people like the men of Jesuit and their mentalities, hardcore is about as dumb as it ever was. Jacob Bannon, you should be ashamed.

In reality, this band was bad. I don't know anyone who ever liked them. They recently played a pointless reunion show and no one gave a FUCK that they were playing. For the whole time. People left when they played, I'm assuming cause the band was just that breathtakingly original. People went off for the band before them and the bands after them, but the room stood still when the mighty Jesuit played. I guess they were just awestruck.

I'm not one to talk about what hardcore is "really about." However, at the very least, hardcore has historically been a rejection of "them" and "out there." It's a counterculture, or was. Shit like this is just aping the mainstream to the fullest. It's just one more round in the never-ending hail of bullets coming at women the world over. It's not that I hold out any hope, in the least, for hardcore or punk to become some revolutionary, redemptive or even benevolent force (more to come on that in a later post), but I do want to take the time to point out how fucking shitty this record cover and the concomitant (lack of) thought process are. This is worse than a Motley Crue record. At least those guys liked women (as well as looked like them). This is the kind of thing one should expect from Avenged Sevenfold or  Buck Cherry. This has everything to do with the mainstream. This challenges nothing. Women are put down at every turn. Women are sexualized constantly. They are told they are not good enough. Let me help you with that. Their efforts are "cute." Their bodies are routinely violated with impunity. I'll kill you if you fight back. Daily media blitzkrieg sensory overload says you are fat. Don't try, because you will likely fail. Give it up. Just take it. Know your place. Slut. If that's what you're into, stay in the fucking bar where you and your numbingly mediocre band belong. Offending people is not hard. In this case, it was a replacement for having anything worthwhile or creative to say.

I guess this record cover is their last hurrah, their final go at those PC Police. WE'LL SHOW THEM. YOU CAN'T SILENCE JESUIT. Sorry I'm such a faggot guys. I bet you'd never call me a nigger though. Cause that's just not cool, right?

Aside from the thoroughly anti-woman, misogynistic theme and aesthetic, the "art" just sucks. It's fucking stupid. Super trashy. Who likes this shit? It's about as cool as this:

Edit: Oops on the Jacob Bannon tip. I saw this listed in the Deathwish store and assumed it was from them. Made sense, with Nate Newton and all. However, as a commenter pointed out, it's on Magic Bullet. In that case, Brent Eyestone should be ashamed.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

North Korea's "Massive and Growing" prison population is about the same, percentage-wise, as America's

How about that. Amnesty International recently released a report that is supposed to be some kind of smashing expose on North Korea's prison system. The New York Times reported on it with a sensational headline that seems to ignore the problem at home. The thing is, their imprisonment rate of about 0.8 percent is pretty close to ours of about 0.8 percent (3 percent if you count people on probation or on parole). They have a population of about 24 million, with 200,000 in prison. We have a population of about 309 million, with 2.4 million in prison. Ours is the highest incarceration rate, by far, in the "developed" world. It too, is growing. I guess theirs is maybe the highest in the world, but only slightly. North Korea is not a place to which you want to be comparable. In any way. But here we are.

I guess the big difference is that our prisons are supposed to be civilized institutions. We tell ourselves that everything is very orderly, efficient and coldly impartial. At least some of us do. North Korea supposedly has people eating rats and worms, witnessing other inmates' executions. Maybe that is true, maybe it's not, maybe it's overstated.

Regardless, American prisons are not places you want to be. They are overcrowded by about 60 percent (The Economist says so, no liberal rag for sure). People with inappropriately long, mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes fill them. Prison is a place that can teach many how to be better criminals. This is what happens when you throw people in cells and make little effort to reform them, or give them sentences so long that they don't care what happens when they get out. There is not even a mask of reform in American prisons. Some can go to school, but nothing is required of anyone. Drugs are rampant. Violence is routine. Guards are often nasty and brutal. Sadists seek such positions. These are thankless jobs, to be sure. There is no argument analogous to the one that people sometimes use to justify being a police officer - "I want to help the community." Ha. You are surely helping no one in that prison. You just maintain control by varying degrees of coercion. That is the kind of job that rots you from the inside out, presuming that there was anything to rot initially.

Prisons in this country are often referred to as the new plantation. They are disproportionately black and brown, to the extent of 60 percent of the national prison population. Here, people can be coerced to work for as low as 5 cents an hour where they produce an astonishing array of goods, from meat to furniture to dentures and lingerie. They even come with their version of the Klan. No, not just guards, but the even more crude Aryan gangs. Race war behind bars. Talk about divide and conquer.

As for inhumanity, about 25,000 inmates at any given time are doing their bids in solitary confinement. They stay in their cells (which always have lights on) 23 hours per day; they are allowed one hour of solitary "exercise" on a small fenced in on all sides concrete slab. Their visiting privileges are severely curtailed and they interact with no one except guards, through a hole in the door. This is medieval, at best. In fact, the United States has entire prisons devoted to such conditions. Google "supermax."  In North Korean camps, people seem to be able to interact with one another. As you may imagine, long-term solitary confinement has a great potential to break you down. Unfortunately, it often does. Which brutality would you choose, the silent controlled one that tells you it is not brutal or the blatant version?

Finally, to address the contention that North Korea's prisons are packed with political offenders, I am sure that in such a fucked up place, people commit a good number of social crimes as well. Beyond that, America certainly has its political prisoners as well. Several of them are or have been high-profile over the years - Huey Newton, Assata Shakur, Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal - while many more languish in obscurity, cut off from friends and family, all but forgotten about. These are people like Herman Bell, Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa. Then there are the countless faceless individuals rounded up for peaceful mass protest at such events like national political conventions, World Bank meetings and antiwar demonstrations. No level of American government, local, state or national, will ever acknowledge this. The official American line is that we have no political prisoners here, only "bad guys." Though the $4.5 million that Los Angeles and the FBI had to pay out to Geronimo Pratt says otherwise.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

University of Missouri - St. Louis reactionary firings

There is a scandal a-brewin down in St. Louis. Basically, hyper-conservative "blogger" and regressive zealot Andrew Breitbart took some video footage of labor history lectures from an instructor there and his collaborator, an instructor at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, edited the crap out of it, and came up with some finished products that profess to show the lecturers gleefully advocating violence to their students. Shouldn't be a big deal, cause the guy is a lunatic, but instead, the guy at St. Louis, (a registered Communist, I guess it's the 1950s) has been fired. The chancellor of the school forced him to resign. I wrote the chancellor (chancellor@umsl.edu) an email, imploring him to reconsider his utter failure to support academic freedom:

Dear Chancellor George,
   I am quite saddened and a bit scared by the fact that you are allowing a piece of shit like Andrew Breitbart to influence who is permitted to be on the faculty of your school. He has "exposed" nothing. This man is a nihilist whose mission is the destruction of all things "liberal." He is already facing one libel suit for getting a woman fired through his favorite tactic, selective video editing. I'm sure you realize that if you have enough words from someone's mouth, you can edit them to say just about whatever you like. He despises difference and demands that all heel to his ultraconservative line or else. Just look at the comments on his website in reaction to these videos - it is a bunch of people calling for the violent deaths of liberals and communists, attacking Muslims for no discernible reason and calling Obama a "National Socialist" and a "Fascist." In short, his followers are extremists. They are far, far right-wing radicals who fear everything they don't know. And they don't know much. They don't want to. He panders to these people, and to great success. When you bow to people like them, you give them strength and power. They are enemies of democracy, progress and freedom. They will come for us all one day, unless people in power demonstrate real leadership and courage and stand up to them. They need to be stopped in the interest of free speech and the exchange of ideas. They would dismantle higher education altogether if given the choice. Please do the right thing.

I doubt it will do much. He's already on the run, for no apparent reason. I guess a couple of governors going after unions and teachers (Google Scott Walker) have got him scared. Pretty unfortunate. To put things in perspective, Inside Higher Ed reports that

"Late Thursday afternoon, Gail Hackett, provost of the Kansas City campus, issued a statement that backed the instructors' description of the class, based on administrators' review so far of the 18 hours of available video (of which Breitbart's two excerpts are together under 15 minutes). "From the review completed to date, it is clear that edited videos posted on the Internet depict statements from the instructors in an inaccurate and distorted manner by taking their statements out of context and reordering the sequence in which those statements were actually made so as to change their meaning," Hackett said. "Such selective editing is disturbing and the release of students’ images without their permission is a violation of their privacy rights." (University officials assume that a student either gave Breitbart a copy of the video of the class or provided access.)"
Ms. Hackett seems to be much more reasonable than her counterpart at St. Louis, having actually reviewed the lectures in question and all. She wanted people on campus to examine what was going on, trying to determine the veracity of Breitbart's accusations, which should have been quite dubious from the start.

This guy Breitbart embraces the most base forms of hatred and anti-intellectualism, herding them up for his own power. The fools who follow him are just getting used and are totally oblivious. Reading the first page of the comments section on just the first video he posted is astonishing. It's all a bunch of people talking about guns, killing liberals, stocking up on ammunition, having gun avatars, hating Arabs/Muslims and one person who calls President Obama a "National Socialist." Insane. The internet is rife with them though, given its ability to empower anyone to display their breathtaking thoughtlessness for all to see. The problem here is that the Chancellor of the school is doing what they want. He is empowering them. I don't know if he thinks he will shut them up, or if he really cares. I guess he just wants it to go away. Now that they have one instructor's blood, they are hungry for more. I know this.

90s-influenced straight edge band

The 90s were a great time for music. Why have straight edge musicians not embraced this period? There is a wealth of material here to mine. Here are some examples:

XI Don't Mind Stealin BreadX
XHe Ain't Gonna DieX
XFaster Than a CannonballX
XFound out about YouX
XDo You Have to Let It LingerX

On the other hand, these are not acceptable:

XTwo PrincesX
XAnts MarchingX

However, XStayX would be cool.

Please let me know if you are interested in pursuing something along these lines. I would be up for multiple coterminous bands.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ozzy-influenced edge band

Straight edge metal is nothing new. It goes back to Judge and up through whatever garbage is around now. I heard a band yesterday that sounded like Pantera, and they weren't the first one.

Here's the thing: Pantera sucks.

Why is there no edge band that sounds like Ozzy? I want to fix that. I hereby announce my intention to form XBark at the MoonX.

If you or someone you know can sing like Ozzy or play guitar like Randy Rhoads, get at me. Lots of people can do those things, but I'm not sure that a single one Xes up.

I don't want to hear about what the rich are doing.

I don't want to go to where, where the rich are going.

Thanks Joe.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Planned Parenthood

Now, I know that no one reads this blog, and if anyone were to do so, it is highly unlikely that she or he would be of the conservative persuasion, but given the recent "controversy" over Planned Parenthood and abortion, which a bunch of regressive people are trying to make the same thing, and the fact that a woman has a right to do whatever she likes with her body, I do feel that it is necessary to disseminate the reality of the organization's actions as far and wide as possible.

Here is an image that I found in the Washington Post that breaks down its services by percentage in a friendly pie chart:

Abortion services, three percent. Not that it matters. It could be a hundred percent, and that would be fine. But it just gives the lie to all those woman haters and religious zealots out there, talking about how Planned Parenthood is this massive baby killing machine or whatever.

Also, let us never forget the fact that the federal funding that Planned Parenthood gets is barred from being used for abortions, as it has been since 1976.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Somebody set Donald Trump on fire please

Even Bill O'Reilly thinks he's a jerkoff.

Fuck the both of them, really. Still, Donald Trump is just so offensive. Arrogant, ignorant rich piece of shit who lives in a gold house. Donate him to Japan to plug cracks in nuclear reactor housing.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Heard this on the radio the other night. Could not believe my ears. The magic of the internet allows me to relive the magic at will, and share with you.

If you cannot take it, just skip to 1:58.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anyone got a way to make 2012 come sooner?

Here is the newest "if there were a button I would be pounding on it with my head" story. It's not even the story. Just the first sentence:

"In rapid-fire action Friday, the Republican-controlled House voted to strip federal money from President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and from Planned Parenthood and to bar the EPA from issuing global warming regulations."

Yup. That's it. Goodbye. Kill us please.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Please end the world soon

I can't take this shit. People accept this as reality. People allow this man to talk. He disseminates whatever he feels like saying to millions on a daily basis. And it's legitimate. It's all a bunch of insane bullshit, but it's legitimate because it's on a "respectable" television station. Therefore people believe it and worship him because he tells them that the problem is everyone else and doing/thinking whatever the fuck you feel like, hating everyone else and never having to change is fundamentally correct. It's like providing masturbation with poisoned lube.

Fuck this world/country/society/species/etc.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

File under "things that should be on the internet but are not"

The following statements do not come up when searched on Google, so I will change that - "Aerosmith is a Led Zeppelin rip off" and "Aerosmith is the shitty American version of Led Zeppelin".

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cop shot?

A regular contributor to the letters section of a local newspaper doesn't think it matters. Fucking incredible. This dude, while I feel that he has written some pretty less than stellar pieces before, is pretty gutsy with this one. I can't recall anything specific, but I have a general memory of the guy being pretty conservative. People like that usually worship pigs, but not Raymond:

Proposed death penalty bill creates different classes of victims

In the eyes of state Sen. Robert Singer, (R-Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington, Mercer) your life is not as important as that of a cop. That is the bottom line of a bill that Singer is proposing (supported by Sen. Jennifer Beck) in a typical politician’s knee-jerk reaction to the murder of a (Lakewood) cop.

The bill could result in the death penalty for murderers of on-duty cops, and for good measure, childkillers and terrorists whose actions cause deaths. Singer does not seem to be aware of or care about the equal protection clause of the Constitution. His bill would use such sad events to justify creating different classes of society.

On-duty cops, like everyone else from the president to celebrities, to athletes, to the pope, are still just people doing jobs. We justify putting cops on pedestals by claiming they are putting their lives on the line every day. Commuters using high-speed highways are also putting their lives on the line every day getting to and from their jobs to support their families.

Same for those working in dangerous jobs, like firemen, mine workers, construction workers. Will murderers of those while working in those jobs also face the death penalty? If not, why?

And why include kids? Before reaching adulthood, the vastmajority have not made any real major contribution to society. And the reality is that the majority of us never make major contributions throughout our entire lives.

Yet if a person with a track record of having made real contributions — created jobs, grown our food, built our homes, helped the poor (e.g., someone like Mother Teresa selflessly helping Camden’s poor), etc. — is murdered, that death would be treated more lightly by a “mere” lifetime of taxpayerpaid meals, lodging and medical care.

There is something hypocritical about the legal process by which a defendant, if found guilty, could be executed. It is nothing short of premeditated, first-degree murder, with the “players” (prosecutor, judge, jury, and the people who do the actual murder) all being willing coconspirators and accomplices. So some murders are bad, others are actually sanctioned.

Raymond Kostanty


I enjoy how he notes that "the reality is that the majority of us never make major contributions [to society] throughout our entire lives."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quote of all time

Lissie J, referring to those who have unrewarding, draining jobs yet carry on as though some higher up will notice their cheer and give them a raise/promotion on the spot:

"It's like getting raped and holding out for an orgasm."

Fox shoots man

Not the TV empire, but the animal. This shit is real, and brilliant.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A wounded fox shot its would be killer in Belarus by pulling the trigger on the hunter's gun as the pair scuffled after the man tried to finish the animal off with the butt of the rifle, media said Thursday.

The unnamed hunter, who had approached the fox after wounding it from a distance, was in hospital with a leg wound, while the fox made its escape, media said, citing prosecutors from the Grodno region.

"The animal fiercely resisted and in the struggle accidentally pulled the trigger with its paw," one prosecutor was quoted as saying.

Fox-hunting is popular in the picturesque farming region of northwestern Belarus which borders Poland.

Wow. Just wow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Highlights from Egypt

From today's New York Times:

A bonfire of office furniture from the ruling party headquarters was burning nearby, and the carcasses of police vehicles were still smoldering. The police appeared to have retreated from large parts of the city.

On Friday, 17 police stations throughout Cairo were torched, with protesters stealing firearms and ammunition and freeing some jailed suspects. They also burned dozens of police trucks in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. On Saturday, protesters besieged a police station in the Giza neighborhood of Cairo, looted and pulled down Egyptian flags, then burned the building to the ground.

Before the army arrived, young Egyptians — some armed with truncheons grabbed off the police — created a human chain at the museum's front gate to prevent looters from making off with any of its priceless artifacts.

People taking back power, however fleetingly, makes for some crazy situations.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Helmet "cover"

A fine display of the internet enabling us to see things that never needed to be seen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More Helmet

I seriously don't understand how these men kept their composure while performing this song. If I had written this song or played in the band that did, it is a fact that I would have injured myself or someone else every time I played it. So unfortunate that it gets cut off. Also, Page's voice is not in top shape. Still, brutal song and the only televised performance I can find.


So sick. The two best songs on the record. The drummer's hair rules and so do the wallet chains. Fucking 90s.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Misrepresenting King and watering down his message to an extent that approaches meaninglessness

So here we are, observing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It seems that much of the mainstream press is discussing it in a context related to the shootings in Arizona last week, as though they are related in any way. The Associated Press published the following headline - "Ariz. rampage looms as King remembered in church." The Week offers this palliative - "Arizona shootings: How Martin Luther King's message can help America heal." Over at the Huffington Post, we hear this - "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2011: Nation Ponders King In Wake Of Arizona Shootings." Finally, the Associated Press also tells us "Martin Luther King's Peace Legacy Praised After Arizona Shootings."

Now, I'm sure that many of these people mean well, but I can't help but feel that anyone who would talk about Dr. King like this doesn't get him. To be sure, there is a lot to get, and he was a complicated man, who like most of us, changed over time in profound ways. Still, I know that he has been one of the country's favorite sanitization targets. No one talks about his antiwar speeches, he is rarely remembered in public for developing beliefs openly critical of U.S. foreign policy and we don't hear about his evolution into someone who was fighting for economic as well as what we commonly understand as civil rights.

The difference between economic and traditional civil rights is huge. When we discuss the civil rights movement, which isn't very often, we tend to remember it as something based around access to lunch counters, buses, department stores and schools, and maybe true access to the voting booth. That makes for a simple moral decision - yes, it is wrong to prohibit anyone from eating, traveling, shopping or learning somewhere based on her or his skin color; or, no, there is no problem with such practices. There's not too much nebulous space here. No one advocated allowing some black people to do these things, or having a quota of how many could do so. These are basic civil rights - equal access to facilities. Once economic rights - principally equality in employment and housing - come into the picture, it becomes a fundamentally different discussion. These issues are no more resolved than they were when King was alive. Affirmative action is frowned upon and white people still ardently fight it to the highest courts they can. Housing in this country is deeply segregated today, especially in the North. These matters make for very ugly debate, especially when we live in these "post-racial" times. After all, black people had their civil rights movement, got some laws and court decisions, and there is even a black president now. And what about Oprah? See?

Anyway, yeah, the fact is that King was pursuing an agenda that advocated for poor people's economic rights - jobs and housing. He did this in the North and the South. This is not popular among anyone but poor people and some progressives. It was easy for people throughout the country to support integrated buses, but they didn't want anyone taking a Greyhound into Cleveland and moving in next door. Largely, they still don't.

As for King's message, it was more sophisticated than shooting people is wrong. Most people already thought that then, and it hasn't changed. No one needs a sermon on that topic. There is no divide in the country splitting those for and against random mass murder.

To bring King into what happened in Arizona last week does the man a disservice. It reduces his life to a general message of peace, which is essentially meaningless, and cheapens his death. The man was cut down for a very specific reason - he advocated too strongly for freedom. Whether you believe James Earl Ray killed him or not, his assassin was not a crazed maniac. He was murdered to silence him. Dr. King had survived numerous assassination attempts. One such event touched off the Birmingham Riot in May 1963, when Klansmen bombed the motel where Dr. King had been staying and his brother's house. The FBI, with John F. Kennedy's knowledge and approval, conducted a long campaign to discredit him, which included a letter encouraging him to commit suicide.

He knew he was a marked man:

I doubt he thought he would live as long as he did. That's the price you pay when you dedicate your life to freedom. Real freedom. Not this American military George Bush patriot Tea Party crap. You put your life up for grabs.

What happened in Arizona, tragic as it may be, had nothing to do with a freedom struggle. Dr. King was not the victim of a crazed killer shooting everyone in sight. No, a coward took him from afar and fled. That man knew just what he was doing and had planned well in advance.

We do Dr. King and ourselves an incredible disservice if we conflate his death with the killings in Arizona. They bear no similarity, whatsoever, aside from the most obvious fact that a gun was involved. He deserves to be remembered for who he was, what he fought for, what he accomplished and what he believed. And for our own good, we need to remember him and what he stood for. We need to reckon with that, in a serious way. To talk about him as a man of peace is fucking pointless. Everyone's a man of peace. That's nothing new and means nothing to anyone. We don't learn anything if that's all we take away.